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Dear English-speakers: You earn 3 times as much in MENA

A second or third language is always an asset – especially when talking about one’s monthly salary in MENA.

English speakers in the Middle East and North Africa earn up to 3 times as much as others who do no fluently speak a second language, according to a study conducted by Euromonitor International, with the help of the British Council in Egypt .

Nic Humphries, the British Council’s Director of English in the MENA region, assured: “The study shows that the English language can change lives throughout the Middle East, as it openes many doors to those who can speak it, allowing them to develop in various sectors.”

The survey included eight countries in the MENA region and 2000 employees, proving that the English language plays an important role in the job market today, yet with some slight discrepancies from one country to another. In Tunisia, English speakers are said to earn 5% more than others, while in Egypt the percentage multiplied to 75%, and in Iraq, specifically its capital Bagdad, English speaking employees get up to 200% more money than their monolingual colleagues and counterparts.

It is also expected that by the year 2016, the number of English speakers in MENA will increase between 5 and 7 percent, whereas the private sector and multinational companies demand a higher rate of multilingual employees than the public sector, especially in the Information Technology, Software Development, Shipping, Telecommunication, Exchange, Tourism and Services sector.

Young people in the region are aware of the importance of the English language - not only in the job market, but also in the online world, as most social networks are administered in English.

Even though several governements are putting effort into consolidating English in public schools, the study showed that the best level of teaching the language can be found in private schools. Yet, most people do not have enough income to send their children to private schools, and thus, the level of spoken English language in MENA is not as advanced as it should be.

To reach such results, Euromonitor International talked to 2000 employees from several sectors and age-groups, ranging from young and educated to government officials and employment consultants in Iraq, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia and Yemen.